Unafraid of any confrontation, Angel Reese’s explanation for avoiding wild fight with South Carolina raises injury worry. “As someone in my CONDITION, sometimes you have to watch certain situations helplessly….

Angel Reese was unable to guide LSU to a victory over South Carolina in the SEC Tournament final, and there are question marks over her injury status in the build-up to the NCAA tournament

Angel Reese explained why she was not involved in her team's brawl with South Carolina

Angel Reese explained why she was not involved in her team’s brawl with South Carolina (
Image: Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Angel Reese did not get involved in the wild fight between South Carolina and her LSU teammates in the SEC Tournament final on Sunday – and she gave an explanation that fueled concern over her injury status, claiming her ongoing ankle issue worsened right before the clash.

In a wild incident near the end of the game, which South Carolina won 79-72, MiLaysia Fulwiley stripped the ball from Flau’jae Johnson, who was called for an intentional foul for grabbing Fulwiley in transition. South Carolina’s Ashlyn Watkins proceeded to celebrate in the face of the LSU guard, and she was not amused.

After pushing Watkins away, Johnson was met by Gamecocks center Kamilla Cardoso, who shoved her to the floor, which left her furious. As more players got involved in the melee, members of security and the coaching staff intervened to prevent the intense moment from escalating further. Reese, though, stayed away from the middle of the fray.

The incident saw the game delayed for about 20 minutes as Cardoso was ejected from the game, as were South Carolina’s Chloe Kitts, Tessa Johnson and Sakima Walker, and LSU’s Aalyah Del Rosario and Janae Kent. Johnson’s brother jumped over the scorer’s table and made brief contact with Cardoso after seeing his sibling aggressively pushed to the floor. He was escorted out of the arena thereafter.

Reese was seen calming down Johnson after the incident having walked straight back to the bench as the fighting began.

Explaining why she was not seen during the intense moment, she tweeted: “As a person at my STATUS, sometimes you have to walk away from certain situations. Mind you the play before that I had rolled my ankle AGAIN and was already walking to the bench. I ALWAYS ride for mine. I’m super proud of this team & super excited for March.”

Six players were ejected between the LSU Lady Tigers and the Gamecocks following an incident in the SEC Tournament final
Six players were ejected between the LSU Lady Tigers and the Gamecocks following an incident in the SEC Tournament final 
Image:
X/@stevejones20)


The comment about re-aggravating her ankle sparked worry after she was seen entering the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in a walking boot before the contest. Reese twisted her ankle during LSU’s blowout win over Auburn on Friday night and was filmed limping at that time.

So, Reese did not want to risk aggravating her injury by getting involved in the conflict during LSU’s defeat to the Gamecocks. In 34 minutes of action, she registered 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Johnson added 13 points and four rebounds.

Fulwiley’s 24 points off the bench led the Gamecocks to victory as they kept their unbeaten record intact. Following the win and the ugly scenes towards the end, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley apologized for her team’s role in the conflict.

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Reese was seen talking to teammate Flau’jae Johnson after the incident
Reese was seen talking to teammate Flau’jae Johnson after the incident 
Image:


X/@AutumnBottomm)
“You know, when you’re playing in championship games like this in our league, things get heated,” she told ESPN post-game. “No bad intentions. Their emotions got so far ahead of them that, sometimes these things happen. I want to apologize for us playing a part in that.”

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey added: “It’s ugly, it’s not good, no one wants to be a part of that. But I’ll tell you this, I wish [Cardoso] would’ve pushed Angel Reese. If you’re 6-8, don’t push somebody that little. That was uncalled for in my opinion. Let those two girls who were jawing, let them go at it.”

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